Ceramicist pays it forward

POTTERS’ PRIDE: Swazi-born master ceramicist Meshack Masuku holds his nine-month old son as his workshop apprentices, from left, Asiphe Gaxela, 20, Buseka Gaxela, 17, Freddie Luffun, 21, and Sityhilelo Ngozi, 25, look on Picture: DAVID MACGREGOR
POTTERS’ PRIDE: Swazi-born master ceramicist Meshack Masuku holds his nine-month old son as his workshop apprentices, from left, Asiphe Gaxela, 20, Buseka Gaxela, 17, Freddie Luffun, 21, and Sityhilelo Ngozi, 25, look on Picture: DAVID MACGREGOR
A world-renowned ceramicist, who cut his teeth as a cleaner in a Swaziland pottery studio, is so grateful for the opportunity he was given that he has dedicated his life to helping others learn the craft.

Over the years, 62-year-old Meshack Masuku has mentored dozens of young people by offering them apprenticeships in his studio.

“My entire life was inspired by mentorship,” he said.

“I would not be where I am today if I was not mentored when I was young.”

A relative of the late Swazi King Sobhuza II, Masuku grew up in the rural Lubamba Royal Kraal tending cattle and helping his extended family.

“Our home was a community home, as a child’s life was not just about our family and our house was there to take care of others.

“A lot of people were taken in . . . we worked not just for ourselves, we also took care of others.”

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